Imagine a restaurant on Guam that values sustainability and community. What if you could earn a meal by lending a hand with the farm-grown vegetables that they use to prepare your meal? That is the prize-winning concept that Guam’s very own Alexandra Valencia De Chavez pitched in front of three food industry experts during the National Restaurant Association’s Give Us Your Best Pitch contest.
Through her restaurant concept called Boka Ni Mangi’, Alexandra is already distinguishing herself as an innovator and entrepreneur-in-the-making. The Tiyan High School senior is enrolled in Guam Community College’s high school culinary CTE program. It was through this program that she entered the Give Us Your Best Pitch contest.
“It was such a rewarding experience to take part in this competition that enabled me to utilize my restaurant concept as the voice to bring the community together and partake in the prosperity of our island,” Alexandra said.
Out of 19 proposals submitted from across the United States, Alexandra was one of the top three, earning her a place in the Give Us Your Best Pitch final contest held virtually on Thursday, April 22, 2021.
Judging was based on how the restaurant model would impact the community, whether it was original and unique, and if it offered a viable business model with real-world application. For her unique idea and efforts, Alexandra was awarded second place in the competition. She also won prizes from the judges, $500 for herself and a $3,000 grant for Tiyan High. Way to go Alexandra!
Alexandra added, “As a student at Tiyan High School surrounded by educators who encourage myself and all students to be innovative problem solvers and navigators of excellence, this opportunity allowed me to showcase those principles and how we continue to uphold them.”